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Occupational Safety & Health Professional Day a Chance to Thank the People Who Keep Workers Safe

Friday, May 8, 2009

DES PLAINES, IL — The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is thanking and recognizing the ongoing efforts of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals to protect people, property and the environment as part of today’s Occupational Safety and Health Professional (OSHP) Day.

“We take time today to say thanks to those men and women, who every day work to make workplaces safer and healthier,” ASSE President Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM, CSHM notes. “It doesn’t happen often, but when a call is made to a family member that their loved one has been injured or killed on the job several lives change forever. Let’s continue to work with occupational safety and health professionals to make sure you and your family never receive that call.”

Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day also aims to further raise awareness and pride in the occupational safety, health and environmental profession, a profession where one is qualified by education, training and experience. An occupational safety and health professional identifies hazards and develops appropriate controls for these hazards all aimed at preventing occupational injury, illness and property damage. Safety and health professionals follow a Code of Professional Conduct and bring to bear technical knowledge, skill and expertise along with management abilities developed through years of continued education and practical experience. Currently there are about 100,000 occupational safety, health and environmental practitioners in the U.S. today in what is one of the most challenging, growing and rewarding career fields.

Occupational safety and health practitioners have existed for a long time, but in 1911 a group of them founded ASSE in following the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that occurred in New York City on March 25, 1911. On that date nearly 150 people died in the factory fire because of locked fire exits and inadequate fire extinguishing systems. This was a major turning point in work safety history as the tragedy led to changed government regulations and new worker protection laws.

Today millions of people go to and return home injury and illness-free from work every day due, in part, to the work of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals.

“We urge businesses to thank their occupational safety and health professional today,” Brown said. “It will mean more than you know.”

ASSE Chapters and members across the country have worked together this year with their cities, counties and states on proclamations declaring Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day on May 6. Last year a Congressional Resolution passed recognizing OSHP Day on Wednesday, May 9, 2007 and NAOSH Week on May 6-12, 2007.

In 2006, the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Board of Directors approved the creation of an OSHP Day. It falls every year on the Wednesday of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH), which runs from May 3-9, 2009.

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor and education. For more information please go to www.asse.org or www.asse.org/naosh09.

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